Doors in Sinai Egypt

One of the most incredible places we visited was St. Catherine’s Monastery on the Sinai Peninsula, at the mouth of a gorge at the foot of Mount Sinai, near the town of Saint Catherine, Egypt. The monastery is named after Catherine of Alexandria.

The monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery library preserves the second largest collection of early codices and manuscripts in the world, outnumbered only by the Vatican Library. It contains Greek, Georgian, Arabic, Coptic, Hebrew, Armenian, Aramaic and Caucasian Albanian texts. (Wikipedia)

Several members from our group made the long trek to the top of Mt Sinai where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. They left at 11 pm and the first part of the journey was by camel (apprx 2 hours) and then they had to walk/climb the rest of the way (another 2-3 hours) in the dark, led by Bedouin guides. Temps were in the 20’s & lower. One hiker’s comment was that the “stars were right there! Like you could reach out and touch them!”. They then waited to greet the sunrise from the top of the mountain.

The monastery has guest accommodations that are simple & clean. Besides the dramatic scenery, I was drawn to photograph the various doors and gates around the property.

Church Bells & Cross

One of our side tours in Jerusalem was to a Greek Orthodox Monastery on the Mount of Olives. The entrance is gated with iron fencing topped with barbed wire all around.

I loved the nun who led us around the grounds and shared the history of the small monastery, with its sometimes violent and tragic past. She was feisty and down-to-earth as she spoke in rapid Greek, which she considerately slowed down so those of us who aren’t fluent could follow along.

Inside the fence stood this little metal representation of the monastery & church. I’m not sure if it had a more significant purpose than just being purely decorative.

Small scale model of the monastery.

I tried to get a full shot photo of the flags but the wind was not cooperating.

The Greek Flag with what I’m guessing is a Christian flag.

The bell tower & cross looked beautiful in the light.

Bell steeple & cross

A Tree Planted

Our group spent 4 days in Jerusalem, with 2 – 3 days exploring the Old City and visiting different Christian Holy sites within its fortified walls.

I will be honest. I don’t remember where we were when I took this photo. I just remember turning around and seeing the potted tree framed by the ancient archway and thinking, “How lovely”.

” Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. ” ~ Jesus speaking, Revelation 3:20 NLT

Pontius Pilate was here…

In the Old City of Jerusalem, an interior door off the courtyard of the Church of the Flagellation of Christ:

From Wikipedia: The Church of the Flagellation is a Roman Catholic church and Christian pilgrimage site located in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, near St. Stephen’s, or Lions, Gate. It is part of the Franciscan Monastery of the Flagellation, which also includes the Church of the Condemnation and Imposition of the Cross. The monastery stands at the traditional Second Station of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa.

Facade Door

This building, or what’s left of it, has intrigued me since I first saw it 3 years ago.

It looks like a cross between a Spanish style hacienda & a medieval castle. The only thing that remains is a facade across the front with a view to an empty courtyard…maybe. The property has no trespassing signs posted, so I could only take photos from the road.

Facade Door